Panama City is the capital and largest city of Panama. It has an urban population of 880,691, with over 1.5 million in its metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of Panama; the city is the political and administrative center of the country, as well as a hub for banking and commerce. The city of Panama was founded on August 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila; the city was the starting point for expeditions. It was a stopover point on one of the most important trade routes in the American continent, leading to the fairs of Nombre de Dios and Portobelo, through which passed most of the gold and silver that Spain took from the Americas. On January 28, 1671, the original city was destroyed by a fire when privateer Henry Morgan sacked and set fire to it; the city was formally reestablished two years on January 21, 1673, on a peninsula located 8 km from the original settlement. The site of the devastated city is still in ruins; the city was founded on August 15, 1519, by Pedro Arias de Ávila known as Pedrarias Dávila.
Within a few years of its founding, the city became a launching point for the exploration and conquest of Peru and a transit point for gold and silver headed back to Spain through the Isthmus. In 1671 Henry Morgan with a band of 1400 men attacked and looted the city, subsequently destroyed by fire; the ruins of the old city still remain and are a popular tourist attraction known as Panamá la Vieja. The city was rebuilt in 1673 in a new location 5 miles southwest of the original city; this location is now known as the Casco Viejo of the city. One year before the start of the California Gold Rush, the Panama Railroad Company was formed, but the railroad did not begin full operation until 1855. Between 1848 and 1869, the year the first transcontinental railroad was completed in the United States, about 375,000 persons crossed the isthmus from the Atlantic to the Pacific, 225,000 in the opposite direction; this traffic increased the prosperity of the city during that period. The construction of the Panama Canal was of great benefit to the economy.
Of particular note are the improvements in health and sanitation brought about by the American presence in the Canal Zone. Dr. William Gorgas, the chief sanitary officer for the canal construction, had a large impact, he hypothesized that diseases were spread by the abundance of mosquitos native to the area, ordered the fumigation of homes and the cleansing of water. This led to yellow fever being eradicated by November 1905, as well malaria rates falling dramatically. However, most of the laborers for the construction of the canal were brought in from the Caribbean, which created unprecedented racial and social tensions in the city. During World War II, construction of military bases and the presence of larger numbers of U. S. military and civilian personnel brought about unprecedented levels of prosperity to the city. Panamanians had limited access, or no access at all, to many areas in the Canal Zone neighboring the Panama city metropolitan area; some of these areas were military bases accessible only to United States personnel.
Some tensions arose between the people of Panama and the U. S. citizens living in the Panama Canal Zone. This erupted in 1964 events, known as Martyrs' Day. In the late 1970s through the 1980s the city of Panama became an international banking center, bringing a lot of undesirable attention as an international money-laundering locale. In 1989 after nearly a year of tension between the United States and Panama, President George H. W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama to depose General Manuel Noriega, the country's de facto dictator; as a result, a portion of the El Chorrillo neighborhood, which consisted of old wood-framed buildings dating back to the 1900s, was destroyed by fire. In 1999, the United States transferred control of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama, which remains in control today; the city of Panama is still a banking center, although with visible controls in the flow of cash. Shipping is handled through port facilities in the area of Balboa operated by the Hutchison Whampoa Company of Hong Kong and through several ports on the Caribbean side of the isthmus.
Balboa, located within the greater Panama metropolitan area, was part of the Panama Canal Zone, the administration of the former Panama Canal Zone was headquartered there. Panamá is located between tropical rain forest in the northern part of Panama; the Parque Natural Metropolitano, stretching from Panama City along the Panama Canal, has unique bird species and other animals, such as tapir and caimans. At the Pacific entrance of the canal is the Centro de Exhibiciones Marinas, a research center for those interested in tropical marine life and ecology, managed by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Tropical forests around Panama are vital for the functioning of the Panama Canal, providing it with the water required for its operation. Due to the canal's importance to the Panamanian economy, tropical forests around the canal have been kept in an pristine state. Along the western side of the canal is the Parque Nacional Soberanía, which includes the Summit botanical gardens and a zoo; the best known trail in this national park is Pipeline Road, popular among birdwatchers.
Guatemala the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; the territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved by 1841. From the mid to late 19th century, Guatemala experienced civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms.
A U. S.-backed military coup in 1954 installed a dictatorship. From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between the US-backed government and leftist rebels, including genocidal massacres of the Maya population perpetrated by the military. Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, drug trade, instability; as of 2014, Guatemala ranks 31st of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries in terms of the Human Development Index. Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems includes a large number of endemic species and contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot; the name "Guatemala" comes from the Nahuatl word Cuauhtēmallān, or "place of many trees", a derivative of the K'iche' Mayan word for "many trees" or more for the Cuate/Cuatli tree Eysenhardtia. This was the name the Tlaxcaltecan soldiers who accompanied Pedro de Alvarado during the Spanish Conquest gave to this territory.
The first evidence of human habitation in Guatemala dates back to 12,000 BC. Evidence, such as obsidian arrowheads found in various parts of the country, suggests a human presence as early as 18,000 BC. There is archaeological proof. Pollen samples from Petén and the Pacific coast indicate that maize cultivation had developed by 3500 BC. Sites dating back to 6500 BC have been found in the Quiché region in the Highlands, Sipacate and Escuintla on the central Pacific coast. Archaeologists divide the pre-Columbian history of Mesoamerica into the Preclassic period, the Classic period, the Postclassic period; until the Preclassic was regarded as a formative period, with small villages of farmers who lived in huts, few permanent buildings. However, this notion has been challenged by recent discoveries of monumental architecture from that period, such as an altar in La Blanca, San Marcos, from 1000 BC; the Classic period of Mesoamerican civilization corresponds to the height of the Maya civilization, is represented by countless sites throughout Guatemala, although the largest concentration is in Petén.
This period is characterized by urbanisation, the emergence of independent city-states, contact with other Mesoamerican cultures. This lasted until 900 AD, when the Classic Maya civilization collapsed; the Maya abandoned many of the cities of the central lowlands or were killed off by a drought-induced famine. The cause of the collapse is debated, but the drought theory is gaining currency, supported by evidence such as lakebeds, ancient pollen, others. A series of prolonged droughts, among other reasons such as overpopulation, in what is otherwise a seasonal desert is thought to have decimated the Maya, who relied on regular rainfall; the Post-Classic period is represented by regional kingdoms, such as the Itza, Kowoj and Kejache in Petén, the Mam, Ki'che', Chajoma, Tz'utujil, Poqomchi', Q'eqchi' and Ch'orti' in the highlands. Their cities preserved many aspects of Maya culture; the Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region.
Advances such as writing and the calendar did not originate with the Maya. Maya influence can be detected from Honduras, Northern El Salvador to as far north as central Mexico, more than 1,000 km from the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to be the result of trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest. After they arrived in the New World, the Spanish started several expeditions to Guatemala, beginning in 1519. Before long, Spanish contact resulted in an epidemic. Hernán Cortés, who had led the Spanish conquest of Mexico, granted a permit to Captains Gonzalo de Alvarado and his brother, Pedro de Alvarado, to conquer this land. Alvarado at first allied himself with the Kaqchikel nation to fight against their traditional rivals the K'iche' nation
Panamanian Public Forces
The Panamanian Public Forces are the national security forces of Panama. Panama is the second country in Latin America to permanently abolish standing armies, with Panama retaining a small para-military security force; this came as a result of a U. S. invasion that overthrew a military dictatorship which ruled Panama from 1968 to 1989. The final military dictator, Manuel Noriega, had been belligerent toward the U. S. culminating in the killing of a U. S. Marine lieutenant and U. S. invasion ordered by U. S. President George H. W. Bush. Panama maintains armed police and internal security forces, small air and maritime forces, they can perform limited military actions. Since 2010 they have reported to the Ministry of Public Security. Panama's first army was formed in 1903, when the commander of a brigade of the Colombian army defected to the pro-independence side during Panama's fight for independence, his brigade became the Panamanian army. In 1904, the army failed; the United States persuaded Panama that a standing army could threaten the security of the Panama Canal Zone.
Instead, the country set up a "National Police." For 48 years, this was the only armed force in Panama. However, starting in the late 1930s, the National Police attracted several new recruits who had attended military academies in other Latin American countries. Combined with increased spending on the police, this began a process of militarization; the process sped up under José Remón, who became the Police's commandant in 1947. He himself had graduated from Mexico's military academy, he began giving the police a more military character. After playing a role in overthrowing two presidents, Remón resigned his commission and ran for president for a coalition that won the elections in 1952. One of his first acts as President was to reorganize the National Police along military lines with a new name, Guardia Nacional de Panamá; the new grouping retained police functions as well. With a new name came increased American funding. In 1968, the Guard overthrew President Arnulfo Arias in a coup led by Major Boris Martínez and others, including Major Omar Torrijos, after newly elected Arias forced senior officers into retirement, or assignments in distant provinces by presidential order.
They completed the process of converting the Guard into a full-fledged army. In the process, they promoted themselves to full colonels. Torrijos thrust Martínez aside in 1969, promoted himself to brigadier general, was de facto ruler of the country until his death in a 1981 plane crash. After Torrijos' death, two successive commanders with lesser political influence, the position was assumed by Manuel Noriega, who restructured all of the National Guard's military and police forces under his command, into the Fuerzas de Defensa de Panamá, he built the PDF into a structured force, further consolidated his political power. Under Noriega, the PDF was more a tool of political control, than a force dedicated to national defense and law enforcement. Besides consolidating his grasp on power by increasing military forces and spending, Noriega increased the power and influence of the PDF Military Intelligence Section, which he commanded prior his rise to power and it became a secret police, feared inside the PDF ranks.
"Machos de Monte", the 1st Public Order Co. "Doberman", the UESAT. That way, he was able not only to maintain an iron grip on day to day political affairs, but to survive various attempted coups; the "Doberman" Co. was replaced by the 2nd Public Order Co.. "Centurions" after the "Dobermen" key role in the last coup attempt against Noriega. Due to the political turmoil of the late 1980s, he formed the civilian paramilitary unit called the Dignity Battalions composed by regular sympathizers and the CODEPADI, a similar group formed by civil servants inside public institutions; as stated before, the PDF main role as a tool for political control of the population by intimidation and direct aggression, instead of the legitimate role of armed forces in national defense, was proved when they showed to be ineffective as a combat force during Operation Just Cause, when U. S. Forces invaded Panama and overthrew Noriega in 1989, where only some individuals, small units, in some cases the Dignity Battalions presented more armed resistance.
On February 10, 1990 the government of President Guillermo Endara abolished Panama's military and reformed the security apparatus by creating the Panamanian Public Forces. In October 1994, Panama's Legislative Assembly approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting the creation of a standing military force, but allowing the establishment of a special temporary military to counter acts of "external aggression." The PDF was replaced with the Panamanian Public Forces. By The PPF included the National Police, National Maritime Service, National Air Service and Technical Police for inve
The Panama Canal is an artificial 82 km waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal is a conduit for maritime trade. Canal locks are at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 m above sea level, lower the ships at the other end; the original locks are 34 m wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016; the expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, post-Panamax ships, capable of handling more cargo. France began work on the canal in 1881, but stopped due to engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate; the United States took over the project in 1904 and opened the canal on August 15, 1914. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut reduced the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan.
Colombia and the United States controlled the territory surrounding the canal during construction. The US continued to control the canal and surrounding Panama Canal Zone until the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties provided for handover to Panama. After a period of joint American–Panamanian control, in 1999, the canal was taken over by the Panamanian government, it is now operated by the government-owned Panama Canal Authority. Annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in 1914, when the canal opened, to 14,702 vessels in 2008, for a total of 333.7 million Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System tons. By 2012, more than 815,000 vessels had passed through the canal, it takes 11.38 hours to pass through the Panama Canal. The American Society of Civil Engineers has ranked the Panama Canal one of the seven wonders of the modern world; the earliest mention of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama occurred in 1534, when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, ordered a survey for a route through the Americas that would ease the voyage for ships traveling between Spain and Peru.
Such a route would have given the Spanish a military advantage over the Portuguese. In 1668, the English physician and philosopher Sir Thomas Browne speculated in his encyclopaedic endeavour Pseudodoxia Epidemica - "some Isthmus have been eat through by the Sea, others cut by the spade: And if policy would permit, that of Panama in America were most worthy the attempt: it being but few miles over, would open a shorter cut unto the East Indies and China". In 1788, American Thomas Jefferson Minister to France, suggested that the Spanish should build the canal since it would be a less treacherous route for ships than going around the southern tip of South America, that tropical ocean currents would widen the canal thereafter. During an expedition from 1788 to 1793, Alessandro Malaspina outlined plans for its construction. Given the strategic location of Panama and the potential offered by its narrow isthmus separating two great oceans, other trade links in the area were attempted over the years.
The ill-fated Darien scheme was launched by the Kingdom of Scotland in 1698 to set up an overland trade route. Inhospitable conditions thwarted the effort and it was abandoned in April 1700. Numerous canals were built in other countries in the late early 19th centuries; the success of the Erie Canal in the United States in the 1820s and the collapse of the Spanish Empire in Latin America led to a surge of American interest in building an inter-oceanic canal. Beginning in 1826, US officials began negotiations with Gran Colombia, hoping to gain a concession for the building of a canal. Jealous of their newly obtained independence and fearing that they would be dominated by an American presence, the president Simón Bolívar and New Granada officials declined American offers; the new nation was politically unstable, Panama rebelled several times during the 19th century. Another effort was made in 1843. According to the New York Daily Tribune, August 24, 1843, a contract was entered into by Barings of London and the Republic of New Granada for the construction of a canal across the Isthmus of Darien.
They referred to it as the Atlantic and Pacific Canal, it was a wholly British endeavor. It was expected to be completed in five years. At nearly the same time, other ideas were floated, including a canal across Mexico's Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Nothing came of that plan, either. In 1846, the Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty, negotiated between the US and New Granada, granted the United States transit rights and the right to intervene militarily in the isthmus. In 1848, the discovery of gold in California, on the West Coast of the United States, created great interest in a crossing between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. William H. Aspinwall, the man who won the federal subsidy for the building and operating the Pacific mail steamships at around the same time, benefited from this discovery. Aspinwall's route included steamship legs from New York City to Panama and from Panama to California, with an overland portage through Panama; the route between California and Panama was soon traveled, as it provided one of the fastest links between San Francisco and the East Coast cities, about 40 days' transit in total.
Nearly all the gold, shipped out of California went by the fast Panama route. Several new and larger paddle steamers were soon plying
Public works are a broad category of infrastructure projects and constructed by the government, for recreational and health and safety uses in the greater community. They include public buildings, transport infrastructure, public spaces, public services, other long-term, physical assets and facilities. Though interchangeable with public infrastructure and public capital, public works does not carry an economic component, thereby being a broader term. Public works has been encouraged since antiquity. For example, the Roman emperor Nero encouraged the construction of various infrastructure projects during widespread deflation. Public works is a multi-dimensional concept in economics and politics, touching on multiple arenas including: recreation, economy and neighborhood, it represents any constructed object that augments a nation's physical infrastructure. Municipal infrastructure, urban infrastructure, rural development represent the same concept but imply either large cities or developing nations' concerns respectively.
The terms public infrastructure or critical infrastructure are at times used interchangeably. However, critical infrastructure includes public works as well as facilities like hospitals and telecommunications systems and views them from a national security viewpoint and the impact on the community that the loss of such facilities would entail. Furthermore, the term public works has been expanded to include digital public infrastructure projects; the first nationwide digital public works project is an effort to create an open source software platform for e-voting. Reflecting increased concern with sustainability, urban ecology and quality of life, efforts to move towards sustainable municipal infrastructure are common in developed nations in European Union and Canada. A public employment programme' or'public works programme' is the provision of employment by the creation of predominantly public goods at a prescribed wage for those unable to find alternative employment; this functions as a form of social safety net.
PWPs are activities which entail the payment of a wage by an Agent. One particular form of public works, that of offering a short-term period of employment, has come to dominate practice in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Applied in the short term, this is appropriate as a response to transient shocks and acute labour market crises. Investing in public works projects in order to stimulate the general economy has been a popular policy measure since the economic crisis of the 1930s. More recent examples are the 2008–2009 Chinese economic stimulus program, the 2008 European Union stimulus plan, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. While it is argued that capital investment in public works can be used to reduce unemployment, opponents of internal improvement programs argue that such projects should be undertaken by the private sector, not the public sector, because public works projects are characteristic of socialism. However, in the private sector, entrepreneurs bear their own losses and so private sector firms are unwilling to undertake projects that could result in losses or would not develop a revenue stream.
Governments will invest in public works because of the overall benefit to society when there is a lack of private sector benefit or the risk is too great for a private company to accept on its own. According to research conducted at the Aalborg University, 86% of public works projects end up with cost overruns; some unexpected findings of the research were that: Technically difficult projects were not more to exceed the budget than less difficult projects Projects in which more people were directly and indirectly affected by the project turned out to be more susceptible to cost overruns Project managers did not learn from similar projects attempted in the pastGenerally contracts awarded by public tenders will include a provision for unexpected expenses, that amount to 10% of the value of the contract. This money is only spent during the course of the project if the construction managers judge that it is necessary, the expenditure must be justified in writing. Contingencies fund an economic discussion.
Madaket Ditch, one of the first public works projects in AmericaIndividual programs: Egyptian Public Works New Deal, USA, 1930s Opera Publica Public Works Administration, part of the New Deal in 1930s The dictionary definition of public works at Wiktionary American Public Works Association - Professional society
Panama the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people. Panama was inhabited by indigenous tribes before Spanish colonists arrived in the 16th century, it broke away from Spain in 1821 and joined the Republic of Gran Colombia, a union of Nueva Granada and Venezuela. After Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada became the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the construction of the Panama Canal to be completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914; the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties led to the transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama on December 31, 1999. Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama's GDP, although commerce and tourism are major and growing sectors.
It is regarded as a high-income country. In 2015 Panama ranked 60th in the world in terms of the Human Development Index. In 2018, Panama was ranked seventh-most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. Covering around 40 percent of its land area, Panama's jungles are home to an abundance of tropical plants and animals – some of them found nowhere else on the planet. Panama is a founding member of the United Nations and other international organizations such as OAS, LAIA, G77, WHO and NAM; the definite origin of the name Panama is unknown. There are several theories. One postulates that the country was named after a found species of tree. Another that the first settlers arrived in Panama in August, when butterflies abound, that the name means "many butterflies" in one or several of indigenous Amerindian languages that were spoken in the territory prior to Spanish colonization. Most scientifically corroborated theory, that by Panamanian linguists, states that the word is a hispanicization of Kuna language word "bannaba" which means "distant" or "far away".
A relayed legend in Panama is that there was a fishing village that bore the name "Panamá", which purportedly meant "an abundance of fish", when the Spanish colonizers first landed in the area. The exact location of the village is unspecified; the legend is corroborated by Captain Antonio Tello de Guzmán's diary entries, who reports landing at an unnamed village while exploring the Pacific coast of Panama in 1515. In 1517, Don Gaspar de Espinosa, a Spanish lieutenant, decided to settle a post in the same location Guzmán described. In 1519, Pedrarias Dávila decided to establish the Spanish Empire's Pacific port at the site; the new settlement replaced Santa María La Antigua del Darién, which had lost its function within the Crown's global plan after the Spanish exploitation of the riches in the Pacific began. The official definition and origin of the name as promoted by Panama's Ministry of Education is the "abundance of fish and butterflies"; this is the usual description given in social studies textbooks.
At the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the known inhabitants of Panama included the Cuevas and the Coclé tribes. These people have nearly disappeared; the Isthmus of Panama was formed about three million years ago when the land bridge between North and South America became complete, plants and animals crossed it in both directions. The existence of the isthmus affected the dispersal of people and technology throughout the American continent from the appearance of the first hunters and collectors to the era of villages and cities; the earliest discovered artifacts of indigenous peoples in Panama include Paleo-Indian projectile points. Central Panama was home to some of the first pottery-making in the Americas, for example the cultures at Monagrillo, which date back to 2500–1700 BC; these evolved into significant populations best known through their spectacular burials at the Monagrillo archaeological site, their beautiful Gran Coclé style polychrome pottery. The monumental monolithic sculptures at the Barriles site are important traces of these ancient isthmian cultures.
Before Europeans arrived Panama was settled by Chibchan and Cueva peoples. The largest group were the Cueva; the size of the indigenous population of the isthmus at the time of European colonization is uncertain. Estimates range as high as two million people, but more recent studies place that number closer to 200,000. Archaeological finds and testimonials by early European explorers describe diverse native isthmian groups exhibiting cultural variety and suggesting people developed by regular regional routes of commerce; when Panama was colonized, the indigenous peoples fled into nearby islands. Scholars believe that infectious disease was the primary cause of the population decline of American natives; the indigenous peoples had no acquired immunity to diseases, chronic in Eurasian populations for centuries. Rodrigo de Bastidas sailed westward from Venezuela in 1501 in search of gold, became the first European to explore the isthmus of Panama. A year Christopher Columbus visited the isthmus, established a short-lived settlement in the Darien.
Vasco Núñez de Balboa's tortuous
El Salvador the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador; as of 2016, the country had a population of 6.34 million. El Salvador was for centuries inhabited by several Mesoamerican nations the Cuzcatlecs, as well as the Lenca and Maya. In the early 16th century, the Spanish Empire conquered the territory, incorporating it into the Viceroyalty of New Spain ruled from Mexico City; however the Viceroyalty of Mexico had little or no influence in the daily affairs of the Central American isthmus, which would be colonized in 1524. In 1609 the area became the Captaincy General of Guatemala, from which El Salvador was part of until its independence from Spain, which took place in 1821, as part of the First Mexican Empire further seceded, as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, in 1823.
When the Republic dissolved in 1841, El Salvador became a sovereign nation formed a short-lived union with Honduras and Nicaragua called the Greater Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1895 to 1898. From the late 19th to the mid-20th century, El Salvador endured chronic political and economic instability characterized by coups, a succession of authoritarian rulers. Persistent socioeconomic inequality and civil unrest culminated in the devastating Salvadoran Civil War, fought between the military-led government and a coalition of left-wing guerrilla groups; the conflict ended with the Chapultepec Peace Accords. This negotiated settlement established a multiparty constitutional republic, which remains in place to this day. El Salvador's economy has been dominated by agriculture, beginning with the indigo plant, the most important crop during the colonial period, followed thereafter by coffee, which by the early 20th century accounted for 90 percent of export earnings. El Salvador has since reduced its dependence on coffee and embarked on diversifying the economy by opening up trade and financial links and expanding the manufacturing sector.
The colón, the official currency of El Salvador since 1892, was replaced by the U. S. dollar in 2001. As of 2010, El Salvador ranks 12th among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index and fourth in Central America due in part to ongoing rapid industrialisation. However, the country continues to struggle with high rates of poverty and crime. Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado named the new province for Jesus Christ – El Salvador; the full name was "Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesus Cristo, El Salvador Del Mundo", subsequently abbreviated to "El Salvador". Tomayate is a paleontological site located on the banks of the river of the same name in the municipality of Apopa; the site has produced abundant Salvadoran megafauna fossils belonging to the Pleistocene epoch. The paleontological site was discovered accidentally in 2000, in the following year, an excavation by the Museum of Natural History of El Salvador revealed not only several remnants of Cuvieronius, but several other species of vertebrates.
In the Tomayate site, they have recovered at least 19 species of vertebrates, including giant tortoises, Glyptodon, extinct horses, paleo-llamas and a large number of skeletal remains of proboscis genus Cuvieronius. The Tomayate site stands out from most Central American Pleistocene deposits, being more ancient and much richer, which provides valuable information of the Great American Interchange, in which the Central American isthmus landbridge played the title primordial role. At the same time, it is considered the richest vertebrate paleontological site in Central America and one of the largest accumulations of proboscideans in the Americas. Sophisticated civilization in El Salvador dates to its settlement by the indigenous Lenca people; the Lenca were succeeded by the Olmecs, who also disappeared, leaving their monumental architecture in the form of the pyramids still extant in western El Salvador. The Maya arrived and settled in place of the Olmecs, but their numbers were diminished when the Ilopango supervolcano eruption caused a massive Mayan exodus out of what is now El Salvador.
Centuries they themselves were replaced by the Pipil people, Nahua speaking groups who migrated from Mexico in the centuries before the European conquest and occupied the central and western regions. The Pipil were the last indigenous people to arrive in El Salvador, they called their territory Kuskatan, a Pipil word meaning The Place of Precious Jewels, backformed into Classical Nahuatl Cōzcatlān, Hispanicized as Cuzcatlán. The people of El Salvador today are referred to as Salvadoran, while the term Cuzcatleco is used to identify someone of Salvadoran heritage. In pre-Columbian times, the country was inhabited by various other indigenous peoples, including the Lenca, a Chilanga Lencan-speaking group who settled in the eastern highlands. Cuzcatlan was the larger domain until the Spanish conquest. Since El Salvador resided on the eastern edge of the Maya Civilization, the origins of many of El Salvador's ruins are controversial. However, it is agreed that Mayas occupied the areas around Lago de Guija and Cihuatán.
Other ruins such as Tazumal, Joya de Cerén and San Andrés may have been